New York Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are a common occurrence in New York. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were approximately 11,000 truck accidents in New York in 2019. Truck accidents can result in serious injuries to drivers, passengers, and others on the road, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, fractures, internal organ damage, burns, lacerations, amputations, and soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and bruises. These injuries can have long-lasting effects and require extensive medical treatment. In addition, they can result in substantial medical bills, the inability to work, and other financial problems. If you were sustained a serious injury in a truck accident as a result of the negligence of another person, contact an experienced New York truck accident lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates who will review the facts of your case and work aggressively to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.Truck Safety Laws
The New York truck safety law is designed to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities caused by commercial trucks. This is achieved by requiring all trucks to meet high safety standards, and by enforcing these standards through regular inspections and monitoring. By doing so, the law aims to improve the overall safety of the state's roads and highways, and to protect the public from the dangerous effects of truck accidents.
The New York truck safety law requires that all commercial trucks operating in the state must meet strict safety standards. This includes regular inspections, proper maintenance, and the use of safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control systems. In addition, all truck drivers must undergo regular training and testing to ensure they are competent and qualified to operate commercial vehicles. The law also imposes strict penalties for trucking companies that violate safety regulations, including fines, suspension of licenses, and even criminal charges in some cases. However, if you were injured as a result of the a company failing to meeting New York’s safety’s standards, contact an experienced New York truck accident lawyer to discuss your options.
In addition, there are federal laws that commercial truck drivers must follow. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a government agency responsible for enforcing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), a set of federal safety standards for commercial trucks and buses operating in the United States. These regulations cover various aspects of truck and bus safety, including driver qualifications, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and hazardous materials transportation.
The goal of the FMCSRs is to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities involving commercial trucks and buses, and to improve the overall safety of the nation's highways. The FMCSA works closely with state and local authorities to enforce these regulations, and it has the authority to penalize trucking companies that violate the rules. Penalties can include fines, suspension of operating authority, and even criminal charges in some cases.Pursuing a Claim
Injured victims have the right to pursue damages from the negligent party. However, liability must be established. To prove liability in a commercial truck accident in New York, the following must be established:
- Duty of Care: The first step is to prove that the truck driver or trucking company owed a duty of care to the injured party. This is typically straightforward as all drivers have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner.
- Breach of Duty: The next step is to show that the truck driver or trucking company breached their duty of care. This can be demonstrated through evidence such as truck driver log books, black box data, witness testimony, or violations of federal or New York State trucking regulations. Violating the hours of service requirement can lead to drowsy driving.
- Causation: It must be established that the breach of duty directly caused the accident. This requires proving that the accident would not have occurred if the truck driver or trucking company had fulfilled their duty of care. For example, drowsy driving is a major concern in the trucking industry and is recognized as a significant cause of truck accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drowsy driving can impair a driver's reaction time and decision-making abilities, making it a serious threat to public safety.
- Damages: Finally, it must be shown that the injured party suffered damages as a result of the accident. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Common truck accident injuries include head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, broken bones, and cuts and bruises. These injuries can result from the force of impact, as well as from being thrown around inside the vehicle. In severe cases, truck accident injuries can lead to permanent disabilities or even death. They can also result in significant medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
In commercial truck accidents, multiple parties may be liable, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the truck, and the manufacturer of the truck or its components. An experienced truck accident attorney in New York can help you identify all liable parties and build a strong case for compensation.Notable New York Truck Accident Cases
- Fink v. Lefkowitz, 47 N.Y.2d 567 (1983). This case established the principle of vicarious liability, which holds an owner of a vehicle responsible for accidents caused by the driver of the vehicle, even if the owner was not driving at the time of the accident. The court held that the owner of a truck could be held liable for a truck accident caused by the driver of the truck, even if the owner was not driving at the time of the accident.
- Martin v. Klemm, 582 N.Y.S.2d 901 (1992). In this case, a truck driver who was found to be operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol caused a fatal crash. The family of the victim filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company, alleging that it was negligent in failing to properly supervise and train its drivers. The case was eventually settled out of court.
- Barone v. New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 89 N.Y.2d 580 (1997). This case established that a trucking company could be held liable for a truck accident caused by the company's failure to properly train its drivers. The court held that the trucking company had a duty to properly train its drivers and that the company's failure to do so could be considered a proximate cause of the accident.
- Finocchio v. New Prime, Inc., 132 A.D.3d 874 (2nd Dept. 2015), aff'd, 26 N.Y.3d 734 (2016). This case established that a trucking company could be held liable for a truck accident caused by the company's failure to properly supervise its drivers. The court held that the trucking company had a duty to properly supervise its drivers and that the company's failure to do so could be considered a proximate cause of the accident.
If you were a victim of a truck accident, it is important to have experienced representation. The rules that apply to trucks are complicated and distinguishable from the rules that apply to cars. Thus, it is critical that you have legal representation who is familiar with the nuances of the laws that apply to truck accidents to ensure that your case receives the best possible outcome. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss the details of your case. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.